You are here

Alan Simmons

Professor of Anthropology

Expertise: Archaeology, Extinction, Antiquities, Near East and Mediterranean


Alan H. Simmons is a distinguished professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology.

He has worked extensively in Cyprus, the Near East, the American Southwest, and elsewhere, focusing on Neolithic sites ranging from ‘‘mega-sites’’ in Jordan to smaller villages and non-residential artifact scatters. He is particularly interested in the colonization of the Mediterranean islands, the spread of the Neolithic, the interpretation of small sites, archaeological ethics, and the illegal antiquities trade.

He is the author of numerous publications, including a 1999 Kluwer/Plenum book, Faunal Extinction in an Island Society: Pygmy Hippopotamus Hunters of Cyprus; an award-winning 2007 University of Arizona book, The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East—Transforming the Human Landscape; and a 2014 Reader’s Choice book, Stone Age Sailors.


  • B.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of Toronto
  • M.A., Anthropology, Southern Methodist University
  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Southern Methodist University

Alan Simmons In The News

May 15, 2018

Odysseus, who voyaged across the wine-dark seas of the Mediterranean in Homer’s epic, may have had some astonishingly ancient forerunners. A decade ago, when excavators claimed to have found stone tools on the Greek island of Crete dating back at least 130,000 years, other archaeologists were stunned—and skeptical. But since then, at that site and others, researchers have quietly built up a convincing case for Stone Age seafarers—and for the even more remarkable possibility that they were Neandertals, the extinct cousins of modern humans.

May 15, 2018

Modern humans may not have been the first travelers to cross the seas.

Articles Featuring Alan Simmons

man at the top of a valley
May 1, 2018

Archaeologist Alan Simmons retires after 25 years of bringing the depth of time and big perspective to UNLV.

Alan Simmons
Nov 1, 2005

Anthropology professor Alan Simmons explores how the social and economic changes that occurred 10,000 years ago in the Middle East forever altered the human experience

Search For Other Experts On